African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3982

Full Length Research Paper

Pathways to the poor in Swaziland: What is the nature of micro insurance channels and distribution strategy?

M. Kanyangale
  • M. Kanyangale
  • Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
M. Lukhele
  • M. Lukhele
  • Graduate School of Business and Leadership, University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 10 May 2018
  •  Accepted: 05 July 2018
  •  Published: 28 July 2018

Abstract

When distribution is neglected, micro insurance fails. This considered, the objective of this study was twofold – to explore the nature of micro insurance distribution channels and to understand the distribution strategy of a commercial insurance company in Swaziland. Using interviews with the senior managers of a commercial insurer and its distribution partners, this study generated in-depth qualitative data on their experience and recollections of the nature of channels and the strategy of distributing micro insurance. In this study, the commercial insurer leveraged predominantly on non-traditional channels such as churches, post offices, and cooperatives. These are characterised by access to large groups of potential clients and the trust of the community – but were initially incapacitated by a lack of technical expertise in terms of being trusted business associates and trusted advisors to micro insurance clients in Swaziland. Four inextricable components – depicting novel partnerships, ease of doing business, channel communication, and bringing micro insurance close to the people – encapsulate the distribution strategy of the commercial insurer. Among the key imperatives for cost-effective distribution of micro insurance are tailored channel development, consumer education, and segmentation of non-traditional channels to match low-income clients. Given the findings, a simple framework of micro insurance distribution and implications for research are proposed.

 

Key words: Micro insurance distribution, distribution strategy, service distribution.